This guest article was written by SG fan Kenith. If you want to ask him any questions then you can find him on his twitter: @KenithTG
Dark Souls is one of the most iconic series yet to make its way into Smash Bros. Its deep and cryptic lore, oppressive atmosphere, and most of all, its punishing yet satisfying gameplay has lead the series to gain a massive fan following and inspire dozens of other games. One element of the series that helped cement its pop culture status is the unique characters that appear in each game. But between all the brutal bosses, eccentric shopkeepers, and wandering knights that inhabit the Dark Souls universe, nobody shines brighter than Solaire of Astora.
To celebrate the release of Dark Souls Remastered, which will soon be coming to Nintendo Switch as well, let’s see what this knight from Astora can bring to the world of Smash.
Who is Solaire?
Solaire is one of the first friendly characters most Dark Souls players will meet. One of the Warriors of Sunlight, a covenant of holy knights who assist those in other worlds in the form of golden Phantoms, he is a jolly, Sun-worshipping adventurer who came to the kingdom of Lordran to search for his “very own sun”. Lending a hand to the player through various tough battles, Solaire quickly makes friends with the player as they continue to cross paths on their perilous journeys. As you reach the end of the game, depending on your actions, Solaire either meets a tragic fate, or he can be saved where he then assists in the final battle against Gwyn, Lord of Cinder. Returning to his own world, Solaire finally links the fire in the Kiln of the First Flame – just as the player would. Everything about Solaire’s character made him stand out: his upbeat personality, his power as a summoned Phantom, and of course, his obsession with the Sun, ultimately making him an iconic aspect of the series. Although Solaire himself only appears in the original Dark Souls, his legacy echoes through all three entries.
Importance to Nintendo?
While the Dark Souls series has been completely absent from Nintendo platforms, the original game will soon appear on Nintendo Switch in its new Remastered edition, giving Nintendo players a chance to experience the most iconic installment of the series. The remaster was even announced through a Nintendo Direct, and crucially, Solaire himself is getting an amiibo to coincide with the game’s release. So while Dark Souls’ legacy lies mostly with gaming as a whole, its history will soon be part of Nintendo’s as well.
How will they play?
Theme: Defensive Magical Tank
Niche: Armored Knight with Holy Miracles
Solaire’s palettes all come from significant characters in the original Dark Souls. #2 is inspired by the knight Oscar, #4 on Artorias the Abysswalker, #5 by Dragonslayer Ornstein, #6 by Lord Gwyn, #7 by the Witches of Izalith, and #8 by Seath the Scaleless. The only exception is #3, which is based on the Faraam Knight armor from Dark Souls II.
Can they crawl: No
Can they wall jump: No
How many jumps do they have: 2
Is there any exclusive abilities they have*: Yes (his shield, which blocks projectiles)
Weight Class: A+
Height Class: B
Speed Class: E
Are they mirrored when they face left: No
*i.e. Peach’s float
(for a more detailed look at the stats check this link here)
Solaire’s playstyle is slow, methodical, and defensive; his moves are designed to punish enemy openings rather than approach them. This represents the careful and tense gameplay of Dark Souls, where any mistake could be a grave one. His low speed and jumping ability are offset by his power and weight, as well as the reach of his broadsword. Solaire is difficult to use, but powerful in the right hands.
Solaire has several tools that contribute to his defensive prowess: Firstly, his Sunlight Shield, a large parma that blocks projectiles when he stands or walks similar to Link. His side special move, Shield Parry, also reflects projectiles and nullifies melee attacks.
Secondly, Solaire has the two miracles, Lightning Spear and Force, the former of which creates a javelin of electricity that is thrown at enemies, and latter pushes them away. Lightning Spear does damage and stuns opponents, leaving them open to attack, while Force quickly blasts close enemies away with a non-damaging windbox, and nullifies projectiles.
Finally, Solaire’s sword, the Sunlight Straight Sword, has great reach and power, deterring foes from approaching him. With his Down Special, Oath of Sunlight, which buffs his attack and defense, he can survive for long amounts of time while dishing out tons of damage.
|Entrance||Rises from a summoning sign and does the ‘Praise the Sun’ gesture before equipping his sword and shield.||Based on his animation when being summoned as a Phantom.|
|Idle||Holds his shield at chest height and behind him facing upwards. His shield blocks projectiles similar to Link.|
|Idle 2||Holds his sword close to his face.|
|Idle 3||Briefly glances towards the sky before returning to looking forward.|
|Crouch||Kneels while hiding behind his shield.|
|Walking||Holds his shield close as he carefully moves forward. His shield blocks projectiles.|
|Running||Breaks into a heavy run.|
|Jump/Second Jump||First jump has him hold his shield close, while his second has his arms behind him.|
|Falling||Falls with his arms completely above his head.|
|Damage||Slightly hunkers down while flinching from light damage.|
|Sleep||Kneels down with his sword stuck in the ground and his head resting on it.||Based on promotional art from Dark Souls III.|
|Broken Shield / Dizzy||Leans back with his arms held outward.||Based on the guard break animation.|
– Neutrals –
|Jab||Thrusts his sword from behind his shield. His shield still blocks projectiles using this move.||Based on the ability to attack from behind shields using spears.|
|F-Tilt||A fast front kick. Useful for knocking away close opponents.||Based on the kick attack from Dark Souls.|
|U-Tilt||Broadly swings his sword overhead.||Based on the second of hit of the Sunlight Straight Sword’s strong attack combo.|
|D-Tilt||Thrusts downwards with his sword while hiding behind his shield.||Based on the ability to attack from behind shields using spears.|
|Dash attack||Charges forward with his shield and quickly follows up with a thrust with his sword.||Based on the shield bash of certain shields, and dash attacks in Dark Souls.|
|Edge attack||Pommel strikes with his sword before climbing up.||Based on ladder attacks from Dark Souls.|
|Floor attack(s)||Kicks behind himself and pommel strikes in front as he gets up.||Based on the ladder attacks from Dark Souls.|
– Smash attacks –
|Forward Smash||Two consecutive, two-handed sword slashes. Similar to Link, the second attack is optional.|
|Up Smash||A two-handed overhead slash. Covers a wide arc and is good against aerial opponents.||Based on the second of hit of the Sunlight Straight Sword’s strong attack combo.|
|Down Smash||Takes his sword with both hands and hits either side of the floor under him.|
– Aerials –
|N-air||Flexes his arms and unleashes a weak blast of energy all around himself.||Based on the Force miracle from Dark Souls.|
|F-air||Leans forward and thrusts his sword diagonally.||Based on the leaping attack of straight swords.|
|B-air||A two-handed golf swing with his sword.||Based on the second hit of the strong attack combo of the Sunlight Straight Sword.|
|U-air||A wide overhead swing. Similar to his up tilt.||Based on the second of hit of the Sunlight Straight Sword’s strong attack combo.|
|D-air||Swings his sword down and falls quickly to the ground.||Based on the plunging attack.|
– Throws –
|Grab||Puts his shield away and grabs the enemy.|
|Pummel||Bashes the enemy with the pommel of his sword.|
|F-Throw||Thrusts his sword into the opponent before kicking them away.||Based on the riposte from Dark Souls.|
|B-Throw||Kicks the opponent behind him.|
|U-Throw||Tosses the enemy above while hitting them with a two-handed slash.|
|D-Throw||Throws the enemy down and stakes them with his sword, sending them upwards.|
– Specials / Custom Moves –
|Neutral Special: Lightning Spear||Lifts his talisman and creates a javelin of golden lightning in his hand, and then throws it forward. He can charge this move and walk around while doing so. The spear can be slightly angled up or down.||Based on the Lightning Spear miracle from all three Dark Souls games.|
|Neutral Special 2: Lightning Storm||Throws three weaker Spears which travel apart in a shotgun-like spread. Individually they don’t do much damage, but all three connecting while deal heavy damage.||Based on a miracle from Dark Souls III.|
|Neutral Special 3: Lightning Stake||Throws the Lightning Spear straight at the ground, exploding in front of him. Cannot be charged or angled, but stronger than the other versions.||Based on a miracle from Dark Souls III.|
|Side Special: Shield Parry||Waves his shield in front of himself, reflecting projectiles and nullifying melee attacks by pushing the enemy back.
If Solaire parries too late he will still take damage but negate the knockback.
|Based on the parry move from Dark Souls.|
|Side Special 2: Gust Parry||Shield creates a windbox in front of himself that pushes away foes and deals minor damage, but doesn’t reflect projectiles.||.|
|Side Special 3: Power Parry||Shield reflects projectiles for twice as much damage and knockback, and acts as its own somewhat powerful hitbox. Has more endlag.|
|Up Special: Homeward||Clutches his talisman and warps in any direction he chooses. The move has good range but he is vulnerable while using it.|
|Up Special 2: Shining Homeward||Creates a fiery explosion upon exit. Slower than Homeward but the explosion launches enemies far.|
|Up Special 3: Swift Homeward||Teleports much faster, but the distance is greatly reduced. More for avoiding attacks than recovery.|
|Down Special: Oath of Sunlight||Raises his sword skyward and is cast in golden light that raises his attack and defense. Lasts for about six seconds. Also works on nearby teammates in Team Battles.|
|Down Special 2: Bountiful Light||Instead of raising his stats, heals himself for 5% over the course of five seconds. Takes longer to use than other versions. Gets weaker with frequent use.|
|Down Special 3: Sunlight Blade||Buffs his attack power greatly for six seconds, with his sword glowing gold. His defense is unaffected and the buff won’t affect teammates.|
|Final Smash: Warriors of Sunlight||Summons two golden Phantoms from other worlds to assist him in jolly cooperation. For a few moments, they will attack other players with Lightning Spears and their swords with abandon, before returning to their world while doing the “Praise the Sun” gesture.|
– Misc. –
|Up Taunt||Performs the iconic “Praise the Sun” gesture.|
|Side Taunt||Drinks his from Estus Flask. It doesn’t heal him, though.|
|Down Taunt||Sits down as if he’s resting at a bonfire until moved by the player.|
|Victory animation||Slowly performs the ‘Praise the Sun’ gesture once more.|
|Victory animation 2||Raises his sword to the sky while saying “In the name of the Lord of Sunlight!”|
|Victory animation 3||Sheaths his sword and turns his back to the camera while staring at the sky, while saying “I’m one step closer to finding it…”|
|Loss animation||Acceptingly claps for the winning player facing forwards.|
|Kirby Hat||Kirby dons Solaire’s helmet and gains his Sunlight Spear ability.|
Solaire’s victory theme is a short, triumphant rendition of the ending theme from Dark Souls, Nameless Song.
This was my complete take on Solaire’s hypothetical fighting style should he ever be summoned into Super Smash Bros. Considering how grim the world of Dark Souls is, he would be a surprising addition to the roster to be sure, but an interesting one nonetheless.
Ever since the announcement of his amiibo for Dark Souls Remastered, many people have tossed around the idea of Solaire being in Smash, mostly as a joke, but I hope that I have demonstrated that Solaire isn’t just a meme pick – he’s a legitimate contender. Perhaps as we speak, Masahiro Sakurai is preparing to put this sun-worshipping hero to the test.
Thanks for reading and as ever, praise the Sun!